By Richard Thomas
British drinks conglomerate Diageo has struck a pension deal with the largest union representing workers in their Scottish bottling plants, GMB. Although the smaller union Unite has yet to reach an agreement with Diageo, GMB’s accession makes a bottling plant strike less likely going into the new year.
At issue was Diageo’s plan to close a late period salary scheme and benefits to new workers. In November, GMB workers voted 63% in favor of a walk-out, and Unite 77% in favor of the same. Higher margins voted in favor of lesser industrial actions. The workers concerned are employed at bottling plants in Leven, Fife, and Glasgow, and handle Johnnie Walker, among other Diageo products.
Diageo, GMB and Unite negotiated a final proposal at British arbitration agency ACAS, which was accepted by GMB just before Christmas.